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Island Phuket,  Thailand

The Thai government is considering simplifying the visa policy for tourists from China and India, as well as extending the duration of stay for travelers from other countries.

According to Prime Minister Setthi Thavisin, Chinese tourists face difficulties in obtaining visas, and tourists from India pay 2,000 baht for a 15-day visit to Thailand. In addition, the government is looking into expanding the list of countries that can visit Thailand without a visa, as well as extending the visa-free stay period from 15 to 30 days without additional fees.

During a meeting between the Prime Minister and representatives of the tourism sector in Phuket, it was proposed to waive visas for tourists from China and India, which could be a "quick win" for tourism. Additionally, representatives of the Tourism Association recommended adding extra flights to Phuket and Krabi, and extending the length of stay in the country for tourists from Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia, who tend to spend more, as well as tourists from China and Malaysia.

The new government intends to increase foreign tourist revenue to 3.3 trillion baht next year, and the tourism industry will propose a "better short-term economic stimulus," the Prime Minister stated. According to the Bank of Thailand (BOT), tourism accounts for about 12% of the gross domestic product (GDP) and nearly a fifth of the workforce.

According to Nomura Holdings Inc, in 2023 the number of foreign tourists arriving in Thailand will reach about 30 million, nearly three times last year's 11.2 million. However, the return of Chinese visitors is slower than expected. In 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic, around 28% of the record 40 million foreign tourists who arrived in Thailand were from China, bringing in revenue of around 1.9 trillion baht.

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